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Public Domain Picture: Ultrafast Laser Speeds Up Quest for Atomic Control

Courtesy: National Institute of Standards and Technology
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Ultrafast Laser Speeds Up Quest for Atomic Control
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Ultrafast Laser Speeds Up Quest for Atomic Control
Just as a satellite requires a boost of power to change from one Earth orbit to a higher one, electrons require an energy boost (in quantum steps) to change from one orbital pattern around the nucleus to another. JILA researchers used pulses of ultrafast laser light to boost the outer electron in rubidium atoms to higher, 'excited' levels, then detected the energy released by the atoms in the form of fluorescent light as they 'relaxed' back to their natural state. This three-dimensional plot shows changes in the intensity of the light emitted by the atoms in 300 microseconds. The JILA technique should allow scientists to measure and control these 'transitions' between atomic energy levels much more efficiently than with conventional methods. Credit: NIST Disclaimer: Any mention of commercial products within NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST. Use of NIST Information: These World Wide Web pages are provided as a public service by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). With the exception of material marked as copyrighted, information presented on these pages is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.
Date Added:
April 14, 2014
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National Institute of Standards and Technology

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National Institute of Standards and Technology (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: National Institute of Standards and Technology
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